Dec 14, 2013
Q. Is it true that somewhere there is a festival where people compete to carve Nativity scenes made of radishes?
A. It sounds unlikely, but it’s very true. Oaxaca, Mexico holds an annual Christmas event called the Noche del Rabano or Night of the Radish, which features artists’ carvings of giant local radishes in shapes suitable for the holiday market. The festival attracts visitors from all over Mexico and elsewhere. Although in recent years prizes have been offered for corn husk sculpture and dried flower arrangements, purists prefer the unmistakable red-and-white figurines representing the Holy Family, the Magi and the Virgin of Guadeloupe. And if you think a Nativity scene made of radishes could take some getting used to, you might reflect that the good folks of Oaxaca would probably say the same thing about an old fashioned Minnesota lutefisk dinner. (The World Encyclopedia of Christmas.)
Librarian Judy Woodward compiles the most interesting reference questions and sends them to the Roseville Review. Got a question for us? Ask A Librarian!